Decoding Alexander Zverev's amazing run in 2021
Alexander Zverev, on Sunday, won the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after defeating Andrey Rublev. The German captured his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title after winning the final 6-2, 6-3. He became the first German champion in Cincinnati since Boris Becker in 1985. Previously, Zverev had won a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Let us decode his amazing run in 2021.
A look at his journey in Cincinnati
Zverev dropped a set only once in Cincinnati, against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals (won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6). The former trounced Lloyd Harris (first round), Guido Pella (second round), Casper Ruud (third round), and Rublev (final) in straight sets. It is interesting to note that Zverev had never won a match in six previous appearances in this tournament.
Zverev is 38-11 in the season
Zverev has a win-loss record of 38-11 in the season. He won two titles en route to the Cincinnati Open win (Madrid Open and Acapulco). Zverev then achieved the biggest win of his career by clinching a gold at Tokyo Games. Earlier this year, he had reached his maiden Roland Garros semi-finals. However, he couldn't go past the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Feats achieved by Zverev
Only seven players have won more Masters 1000 titles than Zverev since 1990. He has become the first player to win the Western and Southern Open honor and the Olympic singles gold medal in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996.
Zverev's run at Madrid Open
Zverev won his first ATP Masters 1000 title of the year in Madrid. The German won after defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-7(8) 6-4, 6-3 in the final. He also breezed past Rafael Nadal (quarter-final) and Dominic Thiem (semi-final) en route to the championship clash.
2021: Arch-rivals Zverev and Tsitsipas have met thrice this season
Zverev has played his arch-rival Tsitsipas quite a few times in the 2021 season. He won in Acapulco by defeating the Greek star in the summit clash. The duo then met in the Roland Garros semis where Tsitsipas won 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3. Zverev bounced back again by winning the Cincinnati Open. Notably, Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head series 6-3.
Second German to win Olympic singles gold
Zverev clinched the gold medal in Tokyo after defeating Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-1 in the men's singles final. He also stunned top seed, Novak Djokovic, in the semi-final, denying the world number one a chance to win historic Golden Slam. Zverev became only the second German to win Olympic singles gold after Steffi Graf, who achieved the feat in the Seoul 1988 Olympics.